A better model for business: Benefit Corporations

If you’re a currently a publically traded company or corporation, your bottom line is to make money for shareholders – even if that means polluting the air/water/soil, firing needed workers (or lowering their pay, or denying them benefits), or hurting your community in any number of ways.  That race to the bottom dollar for owner(s) and their shareholders is KING in the current corporate structure!

But there’s a better way for publically traded companies and corporations to do business:  a new business model called a Benefit Corporation, or B-Corp.  650 corporations in 19 countries have already changed over to B-Corp status, and laws have been passed in 12 states so far creating this new kind of corporation for a new economy.  There’s a VOIS (Voice for Oregon Innovation & Sustainability)  meeting November 15th 2012 where corporation division director Peter Threlkel will talk about Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown’s announced plans to introduce a bill in the 2013 Oregon legistative session that will create a new corporate status and give Benefit Corporations (B-Corps) the freedom and legal protection they need in Oregon.  You can RSVP here if you wish to attend the meeting.

From the B Corporation website, here’s a definition of Why  B Corps Matter:

“B Corps might turn out to be like civil rights for blacks or voting rights for women — eccentric, unpopular ideas that took hold and changed the world.”   Esquire Magazine

Certified B Corporations are leading a global movement to redefine success in business.

By voluntarily meeting higher standards of transparency, accountability, and performance, Certified B Corps are distinguishing themselves in a cluttered marketplace by offering a positive vision of a better way to do business.

We hope that you are inspired, not just by our vision, but by the movement’s ability to translate ideas into action.

B Corps create higher quality jobs and improve the quality of life in our communities. And, as the movement grows, it has become an increasingly powerful agent of change. We are passing laws. We are driving capital.

Government and the nonprofit sector are necessary but insufficient to address society’s greatest challenges. Business, the most powerful man-made force on the planet, must create value for society, not just shareholders. Systemic challenges require systemic solutions and the B Corp movement offers a concrete, market-based and scalable solution.

Over 600 businesses have already joined our community, encouraging all companies to compete not just to be the best in the world, but to be the best for the world. As a result of our collective success, individuals and communities will enjoy greater economic opportunity, society will address its most challenging environmental problems, and more people will find fulfillment by bringing their whole selves to work.

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